Looking for redemption in a globalised North: representations of the Arctic in Judith Hermann’s Short Stories Kaltblau (Cold –Blue) and Die Liebe zu Ari Oskarsson (Love for Ari Oskarsson)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores the literary representation of Iceland and Norway in two short stories by contemporary German writer Judith Hermann. It analyses both the depiction of these countries as part of the globalised western world and the redemptive power they are tentatively ascribed by the author. Continuing a long German tradition of looking at Scandinavia from an almost colonial perspective, Hermann on the one hand presents these northern countries as a mere extension of central Europe, largely devoid of distinguishing national characteristics. At the same time she makes reference to the topos of the north as a vast and empty space and highlights both the specific arctic nature of the environment and the effect it has on her urban characters, who find themselves on a search for meaning and orientation in a postmodern fragmented world. Despite Hermann's overall sceptical attitude towards her characters' quest for happiness, these northern locations ultimately appear as potential places of self-realisation and enlightenment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalNordlit
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventArctic Discourses Conference - Tromsø, Norway
Duration: 21 Feb 200823 Feb 2008

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • Judith Hermann
  • contemporary German literature
  • depictions of the North
  • German-Scandinavian cultural relations
  • German studies

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  • Research Output

    • 2 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
    • 1 Chapter
    • 1 Article

    Orte und Nicht-Orte im Norden: Raumwahrnehmung in Prosatexten von Klaus Böldl, Judith Hermann und Peter Stamm

    Translated title of the contribution: Places and non-places in the North: spatial perception in prose texts by Klaus Böldl, Judith Hermann and Peter StammGremler, C., Oct 2013, Provisorische und Transiträume: Raumerfahrung 'Nicht-Ort'. Kanne, M. (ed.). Berlin (DE): LIT, p. 187-213 27 p. (Literatur: Forschung und Wissenschaft ).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Utopien, Epiphanien und Melancholie: Der Norden als Erfahrungs- und Imaginationsraum in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur

    Translated title of the contribution: Utopias, epiphanies and melancholy: The North as experiential and imagined space in contemporary German literatureGremler, C., 1 May 2012, Literarische Räume: Architekturen - Ordnungen - Medien. Huber, M., Martus, S., Wübben, Y. & Lubkoll, C. (eds.). Berlin: Akademie, p. 177-194 17 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • "Warum bleiben wir eigentlich nicht immer hier?" Schweden als Projektionsraum für deutsche Sehnsüchte in Kurt Tucholskys 'Schloss Gripsholm' und seinen beiden Verfilmungen

    Translated title of the contribution: "Why don't we stay here forever?" Sweden as a space of projection for German desires in Kurt Tucholsky novel 'Gripsholm Castle' and its two screen adaptationsGremler, C., 2011, In : Text und Kontext. 33, p. 21-47 27 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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  • Activities

    • 1 Participation in conference

    Arctic Discourses

    Claudia Gremler (Speaker)
    21 Feb 2008

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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